Is E-Learning Education Effective in Increasing the Ability of Nonphysician Medical Flight Crewmembers to Accurately Interpret Point-of-Care Lung and Cardiac Ultrasound Examinations?

Published:December 19, 2020DOI:



      Patients suffering from severe injury or illness can benefit from the care and transport of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS). This may be due to the speed of transport, level of care, expertise of flight crews, and access to specialized equipment and tools. One such tool is point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS). POCUS-based lung and cardiac evaluations can positively influence the assessment and care provided to critically ill HEMS patients, but how these procedures can best be learned by nonphysician flight crewmembers has not been fully explored.


      In this prospective, interventional study, 26 flight crewmembers were evaluated before and after a succinct, guided educational intervention focused on the use of free open-access medical education material intended to help them acquire the knowledge needed to accurately identify and interpret POCUS assessments.


      After completing the educational intervention, participants had a statistically significant improvement in their postintervention scores.


      This study supports the use of free open-access medical education material in improving the knowledge needed for nonphysician flight crewmembers to interpret basic lung and cardiac ultrasound images. Integrating this information into educational programs may contribute to increased comfort and proficiency and serve to accelerate the adoption of this tool in the air medical environment.
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